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Slash Your Stash - Nine Patch Quilt - Part 2

Slash Your Stash - Nine Patch Quilt - Part 2

Hello and welcome back to Part 2 of the Slash Your Stash - Nine Patch Quilt Blog. If you missed Part 1, check it out for the steps that led us here. If you are following along, we hope that you picked your fabrics and have sewn your first units for this quilt. If you are just reading to see where this all goes (I do that sometimes), we totally understand and hope you’ll take the plunge soon to Slash Your Stash!

And, don’t let the length of this blog scare you…we included a lot of pictures and are taking you through step-by-step.

Here are the units I completed as a result of Part 1.

Now it is time to locate the “Cutting Number” you determined during Part 1. If you forgot to write it down…the Cutting Number is your “Cut Square Size” divided by 3”. My squares were 12” so here is my cutting number:

Cutting Number → 12” divided by 3” = 4”

Now, grab your rotary cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler and the eight units we made in Part 1 and let’s get cutting!

Align the cutting number line of your ruler (in my case it’s 4”) with one of the stitched edges of your unit and cut.

Then, align the cutting number line of your ruler with the new freshly cut edge and make another cut.

Press the resulting pieced units while closed (this sets your seams) and then press again to the dark side.

You should now have two stripped units and two single strips (one of each fabric). My stripped units are 7.5” (the cutting number doubled - ½”) x 12” and my single strips are 4” x 12”.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do the math unless you want to…but I wanted you to be sure where the numbers were coming from in case you wanted to check your cutting number progress.

Repeat until you have processed each of the eight original units from Part 1.

Put each new stripped unit or strip in a “like” pile and arrange the piles so they are in a light-dark-light and dark-light-dark order. (Trust me, this is all going to make sense really soon.)

Now, we are going to make strip set units.

We’ll start with the light-dark-light piles. Grab one of the light-dark units and one of the light strips and with right sides together, sew the single light strip to the dark strip in the unit using a ¼” seam allowance. Use clips or pins to hold the pieces together if needed.

Repeat this step for all of your light-dark-light piles. You can chain piece (as you finish sewing one unit, start putting the other unit through while leaving enough space between the units to cut them apart) to save on thread and time.

Trim all of your sewing strings.

Press to set each seam then press each new unit toward the dark side.

Now, grab your dark-light-dark piles. With right sides together, sew the single dark strip to the light strip in the unit using a ¼” seam allowance. Use pins or clips to hold your pieces together if needed.

Repeat this step for all of your dark-light-dark piles. You can chain piece (as you finish sewing one unit, start putting the other unit through while leaving enough space between the units to cut them apart) to save on thread and time.

Trim all of your sewing strings.

Press to set each seam then press each new unit toward the dark side.

You will end up with two types of strip sets (eight of each). One that is light-dark-light and one that is dark-light-dark.

The width of these strip sets will be ½” bigger than the final block size. The length will still be the length of your strips. So for example, in my case, my units should be 11” x 12”.

Don’t panic if your smaller number is just a tiny bit off…mine is just under 11” because of my needle placement and sewing. I’ll continue to sew the rest of my quilt blocks with this same placement and it should all work out. This isn’t for a competition so it’s okay.

I hope you are staying with me because the magic is going to happen really soon!

Now, take one light-dark-light unit and one dark-light-dark unit and put them right sides together.

Match, nest and pin your seams so they face opposite directions. If you are not using a presser foot with a guide, then pinning with the pin tips facing toward the middle of your fabric verses out will help keep your under-seams from flipping though it still happens occasionally.

Pinning is the part that I dislike the most about sewing…but it is best to take your time doing so. The result (nicely matched seams) of “patient pinning” are worth it.

Sew the two short sides together using a ¼” seam allowance. Then press flat. Keep going until you have all of the strip sets sewn together (resulting in eight new units).

Now, just like earlier, we’ll be using our cutting number to make cuts. Align the cutting number line of your ruler (in my case it’s 4”) with one of the stitched edges of your unit and cut. (A neat trick to making sure your nine patches turn out well is to also align both ends of your quarter inch sewing line with the ¼” line next to your cutting number and one of your horizontal sewing lines with lines on your ruler.)

Then, align the cutting number line of your ruler with the new freshly cut edge and make another cut.

After stitching, you can press your seam flat and then toward the strip that has more of the darker color. If you do, keep your sewn edge piles separate even though they will look the same. (I pressed at this step too because for me it is easier to work with pieces that lay flat.)

Next, layout your resulting patchwork (yes, the magic happens now!) pieces in piles so that you have a what looks like a positive (dark in the corner and center) block layout and a negative block (light in the corner and center) layout.

Now, working with the two piles that make the positive layout, put the right sides together and sew a ¼” seam (I pin my seams to make sure they match up when sewing.) allowance.

Repeat with the piles for the negative layout.

Time to press! Just like earlier, after stitching, press the seam flat and then toward the strip that has more of the darker color.

You should now have two piles (one positive, one negative) of Nine Patch Quilt Blocks (eight blocks in each pile)!

That was a TON of cutting, pressing and sewing. I need a break and I wouldn’t be surprised if you do too!

Join me again in two weeks, for Part 3. We’ll arrange our blocks and put our quilt top together. Then we’ll make a sandwich and do some quilting.

In the meantime, keep us updated on your progress by posting a picture of your positive and negative blocks side-by-side on our MadamSew Facebook Quilt group page. And, think about what you’ll do with your quilt when it’s done. Mine is going to be gifted to a family member or a friend. Have fun and see you again soon!

Cathy
Quilting Blogger for MadamSew.com

Download the PDF of this tutorial HERE

4 comments

  • Is it possible to have these printable in a pdf file? Thank you.

    Bonnie Van Geene
  • This is fun. Can’t wait to see the finished product. Hope you will do this again. Thank you.

    Pam Cross
  • I really appreciate these instructions. My mother would make quilt tops and then invite her sisters for a quilting party! I’ve always wanted to do one. She would let me quilt but then later I know she removed my long uneven stitches! LOL Hers were always perfect! Thank you!

    Barbara Heatherly
  • How big is the final quilt?

    Lorrie

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